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Abu Dhabi launches programme to provide solutions for future food security challenges


Local breeds of plant, animal and fish to be developed through innovative methods

The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has launched a programme to establish a gene bank that will help provide innovative solutions to future food security challenges and enhance the food security system of the UAE. The Abu Dhabi Agricultural Genome Program has been launched in cooperation with some national research centres in the UAE, in order to apply the best international practices in the field of agricultural genetic research. The programme, considered the first of its kind in the region, will help improve sustainable agricultural production by improving animal breeds and plant varieties that will go towards enhancing food security, and increasing its contribution to the GDP. Local breeds of plant, animal and fish farming will be developed ensuring improved agricultural production. This in turn will help meet the challenges of the emirate's climatic and environmental conditions, and establish a gene bank to conserve local plant, animal and fish genetic resources. Saeed Al Bahri Al Ameri, Director General of Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, said, “The Agricultural Genome Program embodies the vision and commitment of the leadership that oversees the UAE Genome Program Council to strengthen the UAE's position as a centre for research and innovation in genomics.” In addition to its direct results in reducing the time required for improvement and genetic evaluation of animal breeds and plant varieties, the programme will ensure the preservation of unique genetic resources for Abu Dhabi's local varieties at the Gene Bank for genetic resources, ensuring that they are preserved for future generations. “It will also reduce the costs of caring for livestock and plant resources by electing disease-resistant varieties and breeds with high productive qualities and bearing the climatic and environmental conditions of a country,” he added.